Around the Bay 30k race recap

Great shirt this year.

Here’s a quick recap of my Around the Bay 30k. This was my 3rd year in a row doing this race, and I highly recommend it – one of my favorites.

We had a beautiful day again this year. Blue skies, sun and a cool but pleasant temperature. The wind picked up throughout the race, but it didn’t bother me until the last 4k when we seemed to be running right into it.

Gawking at my friends and losing my pace bunny...

Me in blue – gawking at my friends and losing my pace bunny…

It was an interesting race for me. I hadn’t trained enough because of the cold winter, I only got up to 23k in training, and I’ve been running slower than I have in years. I had a goal of 3 hours when I signed up and I had adjusted it to 3:10 for the race. I had planned to run with the 3 hour bunny as long as I could and then just do my best after I couldn’t keep up.

Well, right off the bat I lost the 3 hour bunny. I was busy gawking at the side looking for my husband and friends as I started, and I realized a few minutes in that I couldn’t find the bunny (that had been just beside me at the start) anywhere. My Garmin had also shut off just before the start and it took me a couple of minutes to get it going so I had no idea exactly where I was timewise. I spent the first few kms trying to catch up to the pace bunny in front, only to find out that it was the 2:55 pace bunny.

Anyway, long story short, I decided to just do whatever felt good. And I think the fact that I was staying ahead of my pace bunny and not letting him catch me, instead of feeling like I was struggling to keep up to him, made me feel more confident and like I could really get a good time. When I passed the 10k I was just under 59 minutes. For the next 10k I took advantage of the flatness and hit 20k at around 1:57.

It was at 20k that some crazy spectator was yelling out “You’re almost there”. I turned to a lady in pink beside me and we joked about it (that’s not even close to almost there – but smiling does make you feel better when you’re running). I was feeling good about being in the last 3rd of the race until I hit 23k and I hit my wall – hard. At first I got a little down, but then I decided on mind over matter. I told myself that it was just my wall and I’d get past it. I allowed myself an extra walking break and took some more fuel and then told myself, “it’s a race – it’s supposed to hurt”, and got on my way. I was really tired for the last 5k and had to talk my way through it. At 28k, I stopped for a Gatorade at the last water station and I was feeling completely out of gas, then I noticed my pink lady from 20k run by and I decided she was going to help me in. I caught up to her and she said “I met you at 20k right? NOW we are almost there!” That was what I needed and I just stayed with her til the end of the race.

Chip time: 2:57:57. A personal best – and a new sense of what I can accomplish.

I had read this article before my race and used the tips in it throughout the race – I think it helped. :)

Mile Posts: 5 Tips To Help Running Feel Easier Read more at


Jackie” target=”_blank”>My run on Strava

A new pair of shoes and The Around the Bay 30k

I signed up for this race once again this year, during the winter, to inspire me to keep running. However, I didn’t anticipate the crazy cold we’d have here in Southern Ontario.

So many days of -18C and colder weather plus the wind chill made it difficult for (wussy) me to keep my mileage up through January and February. So, with the Around the Bay 30k road race coming up this Sunday, I find myself a little ill-prepared. I have only gotten up to 23k and I’m considerably slower than last year(and a few pounds heavier). I think my goal of a sub 3 hour race will need to be adjusted to about a 3:15 race(I hope!).


I noticed on my last 2 runs that my feet and toes were so sore in the two pairs of shoes I wore. I’m hoping that this is mainly to do with the winter mileage I put on them. Perfect timing – last weekend I got an email that my Mizunos were on sale $59.00 off (yay) so a brand new pair of glowing white Mizuno Wave Inspire 10s came in the mail yesterday. I took them out for a short breaking in run this morning that took the edge off the white and now I’m resting my old lady legs until Sundays’ race.


A good thing to come out of not being prepared, is that a runner friend of mine who is also doing the race invited me to a Running Room run club run that she has been going to every Sunday morning. They were doing a 23k long slow run this week, with the run 10 min, walk 1 min system that I favor for long runs. Well, I was a little nervous, but I was so glad I went. I enjoyed having people to run and talk with. I enjoyed the new route and all the conversation made me feel like I wasn’t doing the longest run I’d done in a year. I also peed in the forest for the first time ever on a run. A big day of firsts! :D

So my last hurdle is to make it until Sunday without getting sick. Of course because I have a big race coming up, the whole family, all three boys and my husband, get sick with a really bad cold/sore throat/sinus infection sickness that has left them all fevery and bed ridden. I’m doing my best to care for everyone and not breath around them at the same time. It seems all this running and fresh air is serving as a natural anti-biotic!

To anyone else out there doing The Around the Bay. Have a great race! Question: How do you feel about the detour? Are you going to miss Heartbreak Hill?



Delicious home made heritage bread that ANYONE can make.

I have always wanted to make my own bread. Over the years I’ve tried many times to bake bread with less than stellar results. I came across a couple of recipes lately for heritage bread that you let rise for anywhere from 12 – 18 hours and I decided to give it a try. Well, I’ve baked several loaves now and they are wonderful. I haven’t screwed it up yet. :) Since I’ve caught a bad cold/flu and can’t run, baking some comfort food is filling the void.


I have adjusted the recipes I’ve found a bit to get the size of loaf I like, but I got the original idea from Chef Michael Smith’s Heritage bread. He uses oatmeal and some multigrain flour and it worked out nicely.  We eat slice after slice of this warm out of the oven and then make sandwiches and toast with it. My next experiment is going to be with rye bread.


heaping 1/2 tsp of yeast
2 1/2 tsp salt
2 2/3 C water
6 cups of Flour

Mix together with a bread dough hook in a mixer or mix by hand until formed into a ball. No kneading required. Place in a large mixing bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Leave on the counter to rise for 18 hours. The dough should at least double in size and will look a bit bubbly.

On a lightly floured surface punch the dough down and fold it over on itself until a nice ball is formed. Lightly flour the mixing bowl and place the dough back into the bowl and cover it with the plastic wrap. Allow to rise for about 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and place a lightly greased cast iron pot in the oven to preheat for 20 minutes. When the pot is ready, gently dump the dough into the cast iron pot, cover and bake for 40 minutes. Remove the lid and bake for another 5 – 10 minutes until the bread is nicely browned to your liking.


The cast iron pot gives the bread a nice crust, but you can use a loaf pan or baking sheet if you don’t have the cast iron pot.

Delicious – perfect for carb-loading. ;) Now go for a run!



– Jackie –


Around the Bay 30k – race recap – Everything is better with friends.

I made it! This post is a week late in coming, but you’ll have to forgive me – I managed to make it through my 30k Around the Bay Race – and I was tired.

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Pre-race silliness                                                      On our way to the start line

 I was a bit of a nervous wreck before the race. Going from recovering from a calf injury to running a 30k in less than 2 months had me pretty worried,  but being there with a couple of great friends and our husbands made the pre-race jitters bearable and the after-party fantastic. Mandy also reminded me to relax, slow down if I needed to and to just have fun.


How my week before the race was going…long story…

We had a beautiful sunny day, no snow or rain, not too much wind and about 5C.  I broke this race down mentally into three 10ks. I didn’t feel great for the first 10k, I felt pretty good for the next 5k,  but then it started to go downhill. I made it to 20k feeling a bit tired when the rolling hills started. Hills don’t bother me too much, but the PowerBar Blasts that I was using as fuel did. For some reason I thought that I had tested these on a training run at some point, but my sensitive stomach didn’t take well to them. Around the 21k mark I developed a wicked gut cramp. I panicked at first, but I managed to get a grip, I popped my emergency Tylenol and a bunch of water and decided to walk until the pain passed. About 1km later I was feeling somewhat better and was able to run again. I finished the rolling hills and the last big downhill and got to the last big uphill at around 26k. I was surprised how happy I was to get to that point. Even though there was a killer hill with about 40m of elevation to cover in about 400m, after that, it was just over 3k to go all on a gradual downhill. 

I have to say that despite everything, I really had a great time. I suffered during  certain parts of the race, but I enjoyed more of it. It was a beautiful day, a pretty scenic route with lots of crowd support. I made sure to look around and enjoy the views at the peaks of the hills and going over the bridges.

approachingthebridge waterunderthebridge

Nearing the bridge across the bay                                         Waves just before the bridge


Nearing the final killer hill – a picture of the actual hill would have been better


I was pretty sure I was going to want to kick the Grim Reaper when I reached the 27k point in the race, but I ended up being happy enough to want to hug him. In reality I didn’t have enough energy to even high five him like many runners do – I was only able to take a terrible picture and grimace on.



I pushed on for last few kilometers. One of the fun things about this race is finishing the race in Copps Coliseum. I had been counting down the meters to the finish line, but once I turned the corner into Copps I was so glad to be almost done that I managed a big smile and a little burst of speed at the end. A happy race volunteer at the end put up her hands and said “whoa, you can stop now, you’re done, you’re done”. I put the brakes on and she congratulated me.

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“Whoa, you’re done, you’re done”

Race over – I felt great. Even though I didn’t get the training in, I was hoping to finish in 3 hours. I ended up finishing with a time of 3:06. Good enough. (That’s my motto) Both of my friends came in ahead of me getting 2:52 and 2:57 – both better than they expected to do!

We went to a restaurant in Hamilton where I deviated from my usual post race burger and had a Philly cheesesteak sandwich with some deep fried pickles. After we crossed the street to a bakery called Bitten. Of course, being it was a Sunday afternoon they were almost sold out of everything, but they were sweet enough to give us a Whoopie Pie on the house after they found out we had run the race that day.

It was awesome!

I ate it in the truck on the way home. The icing on the cake of a perfect day that could have been way worse!



Race week and Knee pain – eek!


Yesterday I decided to get out for a quick 5k. The week before race day always messes with my head. I don’t want to overdo it, but I feel like I should do something… I inevitably end up doing the wrong thing.

After being away all weekend, eating poorly and not running, I figured I had to do something, and by the time I got out I only had time for a 5k. Of course I throw all reason out the window and disregard the fact that I am still recovering from an injury and that I should be careful because I’ve upped my mileage from 8k to 24k in only a few weeks. So I sped through my 5k and pushed myself to the limit. I ran a 5k in only under a minute slower than my fastest time – not smart when you are recovering – I know.

I paid for it last night. I had periodic shooting stabbing pains in my knee all night. I’m going to take it easy running-wise until race day and I’m going to get a massage later today because I’m sure it’s all my overworked muscles pulling on my poor knee. I keep forgetting – I’m older than I think I am. Sigh.

I did a quick search and found a neat video on massage for knee therapy that looks informative.


Any advice on knee pain for someone who chronically makes poor decisions while training?

I know some of you have races this weekend – some bigger than my 30k. Have a great race weekend!



– Jackie –